Children from Llanfaes County Primary School in Brecon were announced as the winners of the ‘Our Beacon for Bats’ contest run by Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and its partner the Vincent Wildlife Trust.
The competition was part of the joint ‘Our Beacon for Bats’ outreach programme to 13 primary and secondary schools in the Usk Valley, which has the largest roost of Lesser Horseshoe bats in the whole of Europe. The interactive learning programme which reached over 1,500 pupils, was designed to highlight the presence of this protected species and encourage children to help protect and improve the bats’ landscape.
The ‘Our Beacon for Bats’ competition asked participating pupils to create collages, displays, paintings, models and informative leaflets about the Lesser Horseshoe bats and why the Usk Valley was so important to them.
The competition was judged by Brecon Beacons National Park Authority’s Education Officer Hayley Sharp and Member Champion for Biodiversity Margaret Underwood, along with Dr Jane Sedgeley of the Vincent Wildlife Trust. The trio spent hours deliberating over hundreds of entries against strict judging criteria before selecting Llanfaes County Primary School’s entry as the worthy winner.
Dr Jane Sedgeley from the Vincent Wildlife Trust, added: “It has been fantastic to see how children of all ages have really engaged with the ‘Our Beacon for Bats’ project, and the level of detail and attention in the competition entries shows that pupils are really proud to share the area they call home with this special population of bats.”
Brecon Beacons National Park Authority Education Officer Hayley Sharp, said: “Llanfaes County Primary School’s entry was fun, original and interactive. Their artwork used different media and the facts were all very well presented – it delivered all we asked for and more.”
Margaret Underwood, Brecon Beacons National Park Authority’s Member Champion for Biodiversity, added: “We were overwhelmed by the number and quality of entries and they posed us a difficult but rewarding task which we all enjoyed. Well done to everyone who has taken part.”
A selection of the best entries will be on display in Brecon Library between August 21st and the end of September. Prizes will be given to the top rated schools when pupils return after the summer break.